The Benefits of Working Through an Education and Teaching Agency

1-2 minutes

In this blog, you will learn:

  • About the benefits of working through teaching agency Spencer Clarke Group.
  • Where the latest Teaching jobs are and how to apply for them.

If you're on the lookout for teaching positions, you might have come across education recruitment agencies or been approached by a recruiter with potential teaching opportunities. Recruitment agencies are employed by education companies to assist in filling open positions and schools now more than ever, look to recruitment agencies for immediate staff. But what are the benefits for teaching staff looking for a job in the education sector?

In this interview, we asked Managing Consultant Jimmy Callagher about the best time for Teachers and Teaching Assistants to look for a job and how a teaching agency can help secure your dream teaching role.

Jimmy answered those hard hitting questions about the benefits of working through a teaching agency and the inner workings of specialist recruitment agency Spencer Clarke Group.

When should Teachers be applying for jobs in the education sector?

You can apply for jobs anytime because we are recruiting staff all year round. If you’re looking for the next term, perfect! We're always looking ahead so we can plan for the future and ensure that our candidates have the best work opportunities.

We always have emergency cover work from schools all over the North West. If you’re not currently in a job, there’s a really good chance that we can find you cover work nice and quickly.

Does it make a difference when Teachers or Teaching Assistants apply for jobs?

It definitely depends on the role, the timing and the school. Teachers are required to provide a reasonable amount of notice when they resign from their teaching post to give schools enough time to advertise and secure a replacement.

Typically, Teachers would be expected to give two months’ notice and in the summer term three months’ notice, which means that opportunities tend to come around at set times in the year for permanent posts.

Applying at the right time can be advantageous because schools often reassess staffing needs during breaks and term times. However, there are always opportunities for cover work for Teachers all year round.

There are also consistent work opportunities for Teaching Assistant roles, but again it depends on a number of things including your employment contract. Whether it's to cover sickness or absence, Teaching Assistant roles are always available in high demand.

When should Teachers be looking to join a teaching agency? Why is timing important?

Timing is important because people tend to leave it too last minute and find that they’ve already missed out on potential job opportunities. May/June is a good time to look for jobs for September time, because any notices are going to be handed in over the summer half term, meaning we will get an influx of September vacancies.

The people who are already registered are the ones who will be first in line because they are already cleared and ready to work, go for interviews etc. If you wait until the last minute, there won’t be quite as many jobs available. My advice would be to register with an agency as soon as possible!

What are the benefits to using a recruitment agency?

With a recruitment agency, you’re working with someone who is well connected and constantly talking to schools about what they’re looking for. We can find you opportunities in different schools so you can try different places before you make that commitment to a permanent role.

There are also handover options as well, so you can work on a temporary basis first. Some people might not like the uncertainty of temporary work, but it does mean you can work in a school without having to make a contracted commitment. 

If you don’t like the school or the role, you’re not stuck and you won't be forced to stay, we can find you somewhere else that better suits and supports you.

We also offer much more flexibility than a school contract. You can work the days that suit you. For Teachers with other commitments (often childcare), agency work is a great alternative. I’d say that is definitely one of the key benefits.

What can Spencer Clarke Group offer that other agencies don’t?

What we offer is high expertise. We’ve got a lot of consultants who have been working with schools for several years and many of us - including myself - have worked as Teachers or Teaching Assistants. 

This means that we have an extra level of understanding which other agencies don’t; we understand what both our schools and candidates are looking for.

We pride ourselves on being honest with our schools; this means that they trust our opinions when we’re talking about our Teachers and Teaching Assistants. They trust what we’re saying and they know that we hire great teaching staff.

We are also market leaders in terms of pay, which means you’re not going to be looking elsewhere for a role just because you’re not being paid appropriately. We make sure that you are looked after and have every chance of success.

How can Teachers use a recruitment agency to get a job in education?

You can optimise your experience with a recruitment agency through constant communication. The people who work best with us are the ones who communicate regularly, keep us updated on their status and let us know what’s going on. It also means that we’re going to be communicating back and forth as well, and constantly updating candidates on what opportunities are out there.

The other advice I would give is to say “yes” to opportunities. People are sometimes reluctant, doubtful or hesitant to accept a new work opportunity because of things like distance, travel or simply not knowing if the place is really for them.

We’ve had lots of times where people for example don't want to work in Key Stage 2 because they are a Key Stage 1 Teacher. They’ve done a short time cover in Key Stage 2, given it a go and said, “I love it, I want to work in Key Stage 2 now”.

When you are with a recruitment agency and they find you a new role, you don’t have to commit to that job or that area. You can try it first and see if you like it, and we will do everything we can to ensure that your recruitment journey is successful. If you don’t try, you will never know! That’s the best advice I could give to really reap the benefits of using a recruitment agency.

Is there a time when Teachers should avoid looking for a job in education?

There’s no particular time you should avoid looking for any job, especially if you’re going through a recruitment agency. However, there are times when there are more opportunities available making it more likely that you will be successful. We look all year round and schools keep in contact with us throughout the year.

Obviously the summer holidays are quiet in terms of schools being closed but it’s still a really good time to be speaking to a recruitment agency because they will be in contact with schools checking their emails over the holidays.

It’s also a good time to get yourself fully cleared if you’re not already registered. I would say as soon as you are ready to work or even if you think you want a new job in the next term or so, sign up to Spencer Clarke Group as soon as possible.

When are Teachers most likely to get hired?

Teachers are most likely to get hired at the end of term time and start the following term either September, January or around April time (just after the Easter break). Opportunities through our recruitment process extends to those who leave throughout the term too. There are unforeseeable circumstances that occur such as school staff who have operations, sicknesses and family emergencies that can’t be helped.

Therefore, there are always opportunities mid-term as well. As soon as a school finds out there is a potential opening, they will advertise the role because they want to be the first to get the influx of potential Teachers, Teaching Assistants or whatever role it is. By being registered you can be put forward no matter the start date.

What happens once you get a job through a recruitment agency? What are the next steps?

We will obviously do our due diligence in clearing and vetting individuals to ensure that they are safe to work with children. Once that is taken care of, we will inform them of the job opportunities that are available to them. 

It might be a case of going for an interview or doing a trial day. When you work through an agency, the interview process tends to be more informal which is nice for candidates because interviews can be stressful.

Once you’ve got the job, all you have to do is turn up with a big smile on your face and work hard. As long as you are working hard and enjoying your role, we will sort out timesheets, pay and anything else you might need. All you have to do is concentrate on the classroom and your new role.

What is your best advice for Early Career Teachers?

Register immediately! There’s going to be many Early Career Teachers coming through the training programmes all at once. If you're just applying for jobs yourself, you’re only exploring one avenue of recruitment.

An Early Career Teacher who applies for jobs themselves as well as going through an agency, will have 2 strings of attack to get them their first teaching job. They’ve got the advantage of having someone going out and actively speaking to schools on their behalf, as well as applying for jobs in their own time.

I always recommend every Teacher to keep an eye on job boards, apply for jobs, and we will work as a ‘Plan B’ in the background. It’s important to know that you’re not fully committed to us. If you get a job yourself, that’s brilliant. All we want for our Teachers is to get jobs.

Whether it’s through us or through a direct approach, it’s always better to open as many doors as possible and pick the right role rather than accepting any job.

Teaching jobs

If you’re searching for your next teaching job, why not take a look at the latest teaching vacancies, or simply upload your CV to be notified when a relevant position becomes available.

If you found this blog useful, why not head over to our Education and SEND Career Hub, where you’ll find insightful content like this…

Inside the classroom: an early career teacher perspective

Tips to survive your first year as an early career teacher

What is the average salary for teachers in the north west

Recruit teaching staff

As a specialist education recruitment agency, we support mainstream and SEND schools with their temporary, permanent and temp-perm staffing needs. 

We currently work with hundreds of schools and have exclusive access to some of the best Teachers and Teaching Assistants in the North West.

If you’re struggling to fill a teaching vacancy, why not get in touch with one of our team to see how we can help?

Primary schools - Jimmy Callagher 

Secondary schools - Liam Jones

SEND schools - Jamie Heath

Who is Spencer Clarke Group?

Established in 2017, we’re a vibrant and progressive recruitment agency based in the heart of the North West. 

We continually reimagine the recruitment process to challenge convention and defy expectations; from creating a better recruitment experience to remodelling employee engagement, we thrive off doing things differently and turning heads along the way. 

We operate in two sectors:

Private Sector

Public Sector 

In eleven specialisms:

Accountancy & Finance

Education & SEND

Construction, Trades & Labour

Healthcare, Social Care & Nursing


Corporate Functions & Business Support

HR & Workforce Development

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